Category Archives: Convention

Swancon 41

To give the reader some context about the following post I will begin with some information. Normally for conventions like Swancon & Worldcon (World Science Fiction Convention) there is a two year process in which a group of people who are interested in running one of these events would bid to run the event in two years time. For example people looking to run Swancon in 2017 would submit their bid in 2015.

With that being said at the 2014 Swancon there was no active bid to run the 2016 Swancon. As a result of this WASFF (Western Australian Science Fiction Foundation) took action to seek members of the community who would be interested in coming together and running Swancon 2016.

Out of the darkness some awesome people emerged to form the committee for Swancon 2016 (who I will thank at the end of this post).

Fast forward to the 24th of March 2016 at the Pan Pacific hotel and Swancon 41 comes to life with a wonderful opening ceremony, which included an introduction of all the committee and the guests. Plus a fantastic Welcome To Country by Professor Len Collard. After the opening the people of Swancon were unleased upon the program that had been prepared.

Speaking of the program I have a couple of points to cover regarding it. Firstly as a person who was on several program items I found the flow of information from the program coordinator Frames to be quite excellent. There were many updates and I felt very much informed and in the loop about program related things.

Secondly I found the program to be very balanced and well rounded with lots of diverse items on it covering a range of subjects. A complement to an excellent programmer.

I sadly did not get to spend much time in the gaming room as I was busy doing other things but it looked like the gaming room very well run again.

My only real point that I would raise is I felt the guests were not marketed to their fullest potential. However as the committee did not have a dedicated marketing coordinator I feel the committee did the best job they could with the resources they had.

Once again the venue at the Pan Pacific was first class with all the convention space on one level of the hotel. Once additional thing that was implemented was improved accessibility around the convention.

Unlike Swancon 2015 this year our budget did not allow us to stay at the convention hotel. This year we stayed at the nearby Good Earth Hotel and shared accommodation with a friend. Being very close by made it easy to get to the convention everyday.

Swancon 2016 was my 11th Swancon and I found it very enjoyable and relaxing (despite being rather busy preparing to launch as I am on the 2017 committee). A convention is truly rated by how you feel after the event is over. I came away from Swancon 41 with a very good feeling.

My thanks goes to the awesome team that put together Swancon 41 there were so many of you if I try to name you all I will probably forget someone. Also thank you to guests who gave us their time to be with us.

Swancon 41 was a good convention I am looking forward to the next time I see the members of that community and also for Swancon 42 (for which I am the lead programmer)

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GenghisCon 2016

Genghis Con 2016 hit the convention scene from January 15th until the 17th at the usual venue it is held at which is  Trinity College in Crawley in Western Australia. Here are my thoughts and views on it.

Genghis Con holds a rather special place in the Perth convention scene as it is always the first convention on the calendar therefor for me there is always a strong level of excitement when Genghis Con time comes around.

This year the committee restructured the way the convention was organised with fewer people on the committee and instead turning to the community and asking for there help and support with running things like the program items. This idea worked very well it allowed the community greater input into building their convention and also allowed the committee to be more efficient in organising the other things that needed to be done.

Just to note for the reader I was part of this new process as myself and a friend of mine were the tabletop gaming team for Genghis Con 2016. Which basically involves going away and working out the board gaming schedule for the convention and giving it to the committee. Mostly we worked independently  from the committee and we just kept in general contact with them informing them of our progress.

As a whole I found the program at the convention to be very diverse and interesting with quite a number of different items on it from what has been done in the past. This could be partially put down to the new structure of organising the con that I mentioned above.

In addition to being part of the gaming team for Genghis Con 2016 I was also on several other panel items as well. This gave me some further insights.

Firstly the confirmation of the panel items I was on was sent only 6 days before the convention which is not enough time for preparations to be made for panel content. Also I was to be on three panels Anime 101, Peter Capaldi: Return to Old Who & Board Games: What’s New.

On receiving my confirmation e-mail I was only on two panels Peter Capaldi: Return to Old Who and Cool Games/kickstarters (which I did not put myself down at all). However I was then rather confused when I received an e-mail about the Anime 101 panel from Genghis Con which I was not confirmed to be on by their programme coordinator.

The other main point was the neither the panels or programme coordinator contacted myself to see if I would need any special equipment or connections for my panels <fortunately I did not>. Also no one contacted me to see if I had a preferred time for any of my items. Normally I finish work at 4pm which means I would not get into the convention until about 4:40pm. This would have been a problem given the first panel I was listed to be on at 4pm and the second one was at 5pm. This normally would have been a problem however fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your perspective) I was off work in the week up to the convention because of my knee acting up. So this turned out to be a non issue but some communication from the programming team would have been appreciated.

As readers may be aware David Bowie passed away on the Monday before Genghis Con. I contacted the committee to inquire if it would be possible to do a music tribute to him celebrating his collection of songs. The committee were more than accommodating in this request which they are to be commended for.

The convention it self went rather well. The only real issue we had was we were given a room with two twin beds instead of a double bed. However this was put down as a venue issue. Other than that the only thing I would raise is that the board gaming area should have it’s own dedicated room and not combined with the common room. Some of the rooms were under utilised however this did give room for last minute program items to be added <like my David Bowie item>.

The AGM went very smoothly as normal even with the added item of the constitution changes which the committee handled very well and professionally.

All in all it was a good convention and with a combination of some new faces and some old guard on the next committee 2017 looks like being another exciting convention.